A documentary written and directed by the French researcher "Dr. Sabrina Mervin" was released at the main theatre of the French Institute of Iraq, Baghdad.
The documentary talks about the Arbaeen Pilgrimage of Imam Hussein "as", and the rituals, social, and religious manifestations practiced by the pilgrims on their way to the holy city of Karbala.
The release was attended by the French Ambassador, the Iraqi Minister of Culture, an official delegation from the Holy Shrine of Imam Hussain, as well as representatives of the Karbala Center for Studies and Research, and a group of academics and intellectuals.
"I am working on research about Shia Islam in the world, in which I focus on two aspects. The first shed light on the work of the seminary, how to study within it, and how to present research. The second aspect deals with places of worship where important pilgrimages and religious rituals for Shia Muslims take place, the most important of which is the Arbaeen Pilgrimage to Imam Hussein (as),” Mervin said in a press statement.
The French researcher added, “In the documentary, (The Sky Wept for Forty Days), I focused on the anthropological aspect of studying the behavior of people during the pilgrimage, as millions, old and young, go to commemorate this event, leaving everything behind their backs, in an incomparable atmosphere filled with spirituality. This is a realistic embodiment of utopia.”
Mervin highlighted the spirit of charity that is evident in the massive pilgrimage, as service processions from around the world are set up to provide all services free of charge along the roads leading to the holy city.
Dr. Laith Majid, head of the General Authority for Heritage in Iraq, said, “This film is very important to convey the image of the millions of pilgrims on Arbaeen, the rituals, customs, and services that people provide for them free of charge, and to introduce the tragedy of Karbala globally.”
Sabrina Mervin, a researcher of Islamic studies at the National Center for Science Research, has previously written several books on introducing Shiism, including the 2014 book “Najaf, the Gate of wisdom,” which was published by UNESCO on a global scale.